Oncology Visit

I went in for a regular check-up with Dr. Semien today and took the opportunity to touch base with her on some of my current concerns.

1)  Facial mole —  I accidentally scratched my ‘beauty mark’ a few weeks ago and have been impatiently waiting for it to return to normal color, size, etc.  It has been alternating between being swollen, sensitive, and red (as opposed to the normal black).  I could probably attribute the changes to the scratch, a minor infection, or acne, though I must say that I have been concerned that a less benign cause lurks beneath the surface.  This line of thought necessitated a web search on melanoma and a quick evaluation of the ABCDE’s of mole changes:

A — Asymmetry:  My mole’s shape is still symmetrical, though the color is currently not.

B — Border:  The border is still well defined

C — Color:  Worrisome since it’s half red, half black.

D — Diameter:  It’s a largish mole but no bigger than normal.

E — Evolving:  The color has changed and depending on the day a little swollen.

Dr. Semien examined the mole and didn’t seem too concerned about it though she did say I could get it checked out by a dermatologist if I wanted to.

2)  Cough —  Not too long after our return from Texas, I been suffering from an increasing cough and feeling of unease in my chest.  The sensation is not unlike when I’ve had really bad colds or allergies except that I haven’t experienced any nasal symptoms.  I didn’t actually mention this specifically during my check-up, but as part of the routine Dr. Semien listened to my lungs and said they sounded nice and clear.

3)  Runny eye — I have actually already made an appointment to see an ophthamologist for this but I passed the issue by Dr. Semien, just in case she might think there could be a connection between the Taxol and the excessive tearing.  Nope.

Otherwise, Dr. Semien mentioned that it’s MUGA time again … I need to get checked to see whether the Herceptin is adversely affecting heart health.  Not too long after I arrived back at home after the morning’s appointment, the nuclear medicine department called to set up the MUGA scan.  They offered me a slot on Thursday, just two days from now.  I accepted, but have been considering rescheduling it ever since because of my cough.

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